The Vive Focus 3 is the greatest independent VR headset

The Vive Focus 3 is the greatest independent VR headset

Following the launch of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive in 2016, which for the first time brought virtual reality to home, the two businesses went quite different routes. While Oculus has been relying more on general customers, particularly last year’s Quest 2, the Vive targeted companies and technology scientists. This tactic does not always work out in Vive’s favor – the long-attended Cosmos headset was a deception — but perhaps more meaningful than competing head-on with Facebook’s virtually unlimited resources.

Enter the Vive Focus 3, a $1,300 standalone headset for companies only. Since it costs $1,000 more than the Oculus Quest 2, Focus 3 delivers greater hardware, ergonomics, and building quality than the Oculus headset. It differs between the construction of a device that is intended to be used in professional settings all day long and something that you can use once in a while to play. The Vive Focus 3 is intended to make trash.

The Focus 3 clearly appears more like a luxury VR workhorse at first glance than the Quest 2. While the Oculus headset has fleeting clothes and a basic style, the Focus 3 looks like a costly VR-mounted pair of skis. It’s magnesium alloy framework is technically still plastic but it feels stronger than the fragile case of the Quest (HTC Vive says it is 20% lighter and five times stronger than the classic plastic). As much as I liked Quest 2, you immediately can feel how much Oculus skimped on its materials to get this low price of $299.

While Oculus leaned into the stylish and curved Apple device look, HTC Vive was designed in sharper lines. For instance, Focus 3’s head strap appears much more concerned with a plastic frame, tonnes, and a back dial that tightens everything. It is also tilted around the sides to make the VR experience feel more comfortable. it never touches your ears.

The back of the strap may look slimy, but it actually contains the battery pack of the Focus 3. Putting a little more trash in the trunk helps balance its weight so that it doesn’t lean uncomfortably on your nose as in some previous VR headsets. (The Quest 2’s Elite Strap and rear battery pack provide a balanced feel, therefore the design of the Focus 3 is not entirely unique.)

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